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Courtney, Larson announce tax relief for homeowners with crumbling foundations

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HARTFORD — Rep. Joe Courtney and Rep. John Larson announced Wednesday that owners of homes with crumbling foundations will be eligible for federal tax relief.

Courtney and Larson sought to secure relief from the Treasury Department for the homeowners who are facing significant cost in repairs to their crumbling foundations.

Normally, taxpayers may deduct a casualty loss from their income taxes if they suffer a sudden loss. In other cases, the IRS has allowed taxpayers to take a deduction in cases of large scale loss that happened over a longer period of time. The IRS will now allow affected homeowners to deduct up to 75% of uncovered losses. Courtney and Larson have been working with the IRS on crafting an allowance for the deduction.

Foundations in homes in the Northeast part of the state are crumbling as a result of the reaction of a naturally occurring mineral, pyrrhotite, to oxygen and water. According to the state, Pyrrhotite is an iron sulfide mineral, and it is exposed  to oxygen and water, a chemical reaction results in deterioration of home foundations.  Pyrrhotite may be present in the concrete, but the state said it does not necessarily cause it. A visual inspection will determine it’s presence for some homes. Sometimes, if a home has an existing deterioration, the existence of pyrrhotite can be determined by visual inspection alone, because of a unique cracking pattern.

The issue impacts homes built since 1983 and that are within a 20-mile radius of the J.J. Mottes Concrete Company in Stafford Springs. More than 220 people have filed complaints, but possibly thousands of homeowners are dealing with cracking, crumbling concrete foundations. Most of the homes with this damage were built in the ’80s and ’90s, but the problem took years to become noticeable.

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